America's new debtor prison: Jail time being given to those who owe

Debtors prisons were federally abolished in the United States in the 1800's, yet in certain states, they seem to be making a comeback. Out of Minnesota come disturbing reports of Americans being thrown in jail due to outstanding bills -- sometimes for as little as $85. The Star-Tribune of Minneapolis profiles a number of people who say their debts got them jailed, including Joy Uhlmeyer a 57-year-old patient care advocate who was pulled over on her way home from visiting her elderly mother and put in jail for a night for missing a court hearing about unpaid debt.

The Star-Tribune reviewed the state's court documents and found that arrests like Uhlmeyer's are up 60% in Minnesota over the past four years. And Minnesota isn't the only state where this is happening. It's a turn of events Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director at advocacy group U.S. Public Interest Research Groups (or PIRG), calls a "very bad situation for consumers." Mierzwinski attributes the practice to "bottom-feeder debt collectors [who] are very aggressive."